Atomenergoremont, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation owned Rosatom specialising in maintenance work, has completed development of equipment for thermal "on-the-spot" treatment of VVER-440 reactor pressure vessel (RPV) welds "at a predetermined temperature and duration", plant operator Rosenergoatom said in a statement. The heat treatment (annealing) technology is to be used at unit 2 of the Kola NPP in August-September and unit 4 of the Novovoronezh NPP in May 2017. According to Rosenergoatom, the new equipment does not require the dismantling of the RPV during annealing activities. The equipment can help in recovering the mechanical properties of welded joints in the RPVs and so allow for eventual lifetime extensions of 10-30 years. The equipment can be disassembled during transportation, Rosenergoatom said.